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Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Boxing Day

If anyone had told me a year ago that I’d be writing a story about boxing, I’d have thought they were punch drunk. Still, I was asked to contribute to an anthology of boxing stories and have written a boxing tale set in Chicago that should appear in the Fight Card series early in the new year. I was inspired by reading this book by Terrence McCauley, writing as Jack Tunney (a house name for the Fight Card series, inspired by Paul Bishop and Mel Odom).

AGAINST THE ROPES
 
New York, 1925. Terry Quinn is another orphan protégé of Father Frawley from the Gym at St. Vincent’s, Chicago. He’s close to the big fight against Jack Dempsey. Just two more fights, maybe… Genet was tough, but he managed. Next in line was Whitowski, a big bull of a contender. And the Tammany boys wanted Quinn to take a dive, let Whitowski win. A lot of money was riding on that. No way. Trouble was, ‘no way’ meant ‘no exit’ for Terry and his trainer, Augie…

The Tammany boys included Corcoran and Doyle: ‘If Manhattan was an island surrounded on all sides by an ocean of dirty money, Fatty Corcoran was Moses, able to part the dirty waters and make them go any way he wanted.’ Whereas Doyle ‘had a growing bootleg booze operation that almost took in half the city… Doyle was tougher than he looked and he looked plenty tough already.’

This short novel provides all of the atmosphere, the ambiance and the thrills of the 1920s. Combine that with the stupidity of Prohibition, the rackets and the fight game and this becomes a bout of heart-pounding excitement where the audience is rooting for the good guy Quinn, yet realising that the odds are severely stacked against him. The dialogue is as sharp as a toothpick, as foreboding as the next incoming storm of punches, and full of character. By the end, I was punch-drunk, the fight sequences were so gruelling and realistic. Great stuff. You can get it here

McCauley is a writer to watch. He can certainly capture the period. You might want to try his 1930s style novel Prohibition, also.
PROHIBITION

The year is 1930 and New York is a city on the edge. The Roaring '20s ended with the Stock Market Crash and the Great Depression is only beginning. Banks are failing. Companies are closing their doors. Breadlines grow longer by the day. The only market making money is the black market: racketeering, rum running, and speakeasies. But when even those vices begin to weaken, the most powerful gangster on the Eastern Sea-board, Archie Doyle, sees the writing on the wall. He launches a bold scheme that, if successful, will secure his empire’s future beyond Prohibition. Beyond even the Great Depression.

But when a mysterious rival attempts to kill Doyle’s right hand man, a dangerous turf war begins to brew. With his empire under attack, Doyle turns to his best gun, former boxer Terry Quinn, for answers. Quinn must use his brains as well as his brawn to uncover who is behind the violence and why before Doyle’s empire comes crashing down.

Terrence McCauley whips up a fast paced pulp thriller ripe with Tommy-gun blasting hoods, corrupt cops and deadly dames in this original novel reminiscent of the classic gangster movies of old. Brilliantly illustrated by Rob Moran with designs by Rob Davis, PROHIBITION is a tough-guy blow to the literary gut readers will not soon forget. You can get this here


 

2 comments:

BISH said...

Thx, Nik! Your story in the upcoming anthology is great!

Nik said...

Hi, Paul, thanks for the comment, and I'm glad you like the story! Look forward to reading the anthology.